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A Britten Festival of Song I: The Canticles | Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto
Three of Britten's Canticles, alternating with some of his realisations of songs by Henry Purcell

Date: April 26, 2013

A Britten Festival of Song consisted of three events; coming at the end of The Aldeburgh Connection’s final season, it summed up the Artistic Directors’ longstanding acquaintance with, and love of, the composer’s vocal music.  This first concert presented the three Canticles which employ only piano as accompaniment to the voices.   (The Aldeburgh Connection had previously recorded all five Canticles for the Marquis label.)   As in Britten’s own performances of this music, some of his realisations of Purcell songs were also included.  The Choir of St Thomas’s Church was invited to join us to sing the antiphon on which Britten based the fourth Canticle, together with The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard for male chorus and piano-duet.  Between the items, tribute was paid to the three first performers of Canticle IV  –  Stephen Ralls remembered baritone John Shirley-Quirk, Bruce Ubukata tenor Peter Pears and Daniel Taylor counter-tenor James Bowman.  (The concert was repeated on October 26, 2014, at the University of Victoria, BC, with the same soloists and the UVic Chamber Singers, director Garry Froese.)

SONG ARTIST COMPOSER POET
Music for a while Taylor, Daniel, counter-tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Purcell, Henry, real. Britten, Benjamin Dryden, John
Canticle I: My Beloved is Mine, Op.40 Butterfield, Benjamin, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Britten, Benjamin Quarles, Francis
Lord, what is man? (Three Divine Hymns) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Purcell, Henry, real. Britten, Benjamin Fuller, William
Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac, Op. 51 Taylor, Daniel, counter-tenor; Butterfield, Benjamin, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Britten, Benjamin Chester Miracle Play
INTERMISSION
When Myra sings Butterfield, Benjamin, tenor; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Granville, George
The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard Choir of St Thomas’s Church, director Tuttle, John; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Britten, Benjamin anon.
Evening Hymn (Three Divine Hymns) Taylor, Daniel, counter-tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Purcell, Henry, real. Britten, Benjamin Fuller, William
Magi videntes stellam Choir of St Thomas’s Church, director Tuttle, John anon. anon.
Canticle IV: Journey of the Magi, Op.86 Taylor, Daniel, counter-tenor; Butterfield, Benjamin, tenor; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Eliot, Thomas Stearns
Alleluia –   ENCORE Taylor, Daniel, counter-tenor; Butterfield, Benjamin, tenor; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Choir of St Thomas’s Church, director Tuttle, John; Ralls, Stephen, piano Purcell, Henry, real. Britten, Benjamin anon.